Important Costs to Consider When You Buy and Import a Car From Overseas


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International trade comes with its perks. While buying a car outside your country guarantees you to buy from an authentic source, performing all the due diligence required to secure your car can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Often, it’s hard to anticipate how much you need to clear your vehicle. Knowing the auto import processes beforehand can make help you plan. Here are five important costs to consider when buying and importing a car.

Important Costs to Consider When You Buy and Import a Car From Overseas

1. International Bank Fees

International transfers attract charges and often, domestic transactions have a range common to most banks. It’s easy to get a charge off your local bank’s website. But the international wire process isn’t as straightforward as transacting domestically, especially if you’re paying for your car through a smaller international bank.

Some smaller international banks may re-route funds through other financial service providers before clearing in your dealer’s account. This can increase fees levied on your deposit and can also be hard to track. However, it pays to insist on receipts for all transactions related to your vehicle purchase.

These documents come in handy when starting your car’s title registration process when it finally arrives. You may also need the receipts as proof of ownership as you work on your title registration documents.

2. Ground Transport

Ground transport costs are crucial to your vehicle clearing process if you want a significant guarantee that your vehicle will arrive in good condition. Most import and export service providers use open auto carriers to transport regular cars. This might reduce the security you want for your car if it’s a luxury vehicle with a fine exterior.

The best option is to use enclosed carriers to shield your car from the weather, poor road conditions, and other unforeseen circumstances. Enclosed carriers can increase your ground transport fees about two times more than open auto carrier options.

3. Marine Insurance

On the topic of carriers, ocean carriers don’t assume responsibility for damages when your car is en route to your checking point. Legally, marine line operators can only make a $500 settlement to an individual if anything goes wrong, damaging the car in the process. These cases rarely happen. But you can opt for marine insurance to be on the safe side. The normal rate to expect from marine insurance providers is nothing beyond two percent of your car’s value.

4. Customs Inspection Fees

A customs inspection involves port authorities inspecting your container to avoid smuggling drugs, weapons, and other forms of contraband. You may be thinking about how this applies to you as a regular car importer. Customs inspections rarely happen, depending on the port or a county’s policies.

If you’re unlucky to be pulled over, the shipper incurs a cost ranging between one to two thousand dollars. This inspection fee is applicable whether your container passes the inspection or not.

Generally, importing a vehicle from overseas has its perks and appeals to car buyers for various reasons. Ensure to wrap your head around these costs to have a fair idea of how much extra you’ll need in addition to your car’s purchasing fee.


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